I’m thrilled to be starting work as a UX Designer at StarLeaf next month. StarLeaf brings people together through the power of messaging, meetings and calling; and I can’t wait to be a part of the team to help create industry leading communication products and experiences.
Allegedly, Facebook did some experimenting on a security checkup process, in which examining the privacy and security settings took only a few milliseconds for the user and wasn’t considered thorough enough. To improve the perception, Facebook added some delay, along with a fake progress bar, so that users could get a better understanding about the thoroughness of this process.
We naturally design to try and reduce friction, yet sometimes friction is needed to actually enhance the user experience. This article by Zoltan Kollin provides a wonderfully comprehensive overview and examples of where adding delays and additional steps is a desirable quality within a product.
Now Playing. Now Improved. Redesigning the Now Playing sheet within the Apple Music.app to improve usability by intuitively designing controls layout and interface elements.
When it comes to reading, most of us read from left to right, but as humans we reach things from the bottom up.
If you design with this in mind, it’s called ‘Reachable UI’.
This is a way of thinking that more designers need to seriously consider; as devices get taller, interactions need to be increasingly accessible from the bottom of the screen.
I found it was quite difficult to figure out what was ergonomically sound without an actual device to test on.
Then, Ben built an iPhone X.
I love this. Since the app was being designed before the iPhone X had been revealed, let alone shipped, it was absolutely necessary to get a feel for its proportions.
Buttons that require a tap were put in the area that was best for interacting
The bottom quarter of the screen. Makes sense.
We adjusted these to fit the ergonomics of the new device; for exposure adjustment, we ensured you could compensate for at least 5 EV (exposure values) with your thumb, giving you great exposure adjustment without requiring serious finger gymnastics.
The importance of ergonomics within an app’s design cannot be understated. Not only does this make the UI more functional, but to the user the entire app feels like a better thought out and more cohesive experience – not a battle against the screen to access functions.
In the case of Halide, buttons that require taps are in the bottom quarter of the screen, and functions that can be controlled with less accuracy such as a swipe, in the prime space where thumbs can pivot yet don’t need to reach the opposite side of the device.
Testing on a physical mockup proves valuable; speeding up the learning process in-house rather than when the app ships, leading to a better first experience for users.
Introducing Penny. An intelligent money assistant designed to keep you up to date with your spending, and keep you motivated towards sticking to a budget and reaching your savings goals.
Comfort is a simple, yet powerful control to managing home heating, delivering state of the art features, without requiring a smartphone. Comfort appeals to a wide audience by delivering modern conveniences in a familiar and simple to use package.
The idea for Comfort came after a year of working for domestic heating market leaders; Worcester Bosch as a Product Management Intern with constant exposure to a spectrum of end users and installers from which key insights could be drawn.
I led the brand team to define the branding aesthetic for Aston University’s exhibitions both at New Designers in London, and the Aston Inspired Design show; held on the university campus in Birmingham.
Each event was a chance for final year product design students to show the general public and potential employers their work, as well as represent the university.
myTrainer guides users through completing exercises, in the correct positions, enabling successful, productive workouts through utilising camera technology in body tracking and depth mapping.
The industry for exercising at home using DVDs or YouTube videos continues to grow, and yet there is no way to tell if you’re working out in the right way. Exercising incorrectly could cause injury through bad posture, or just be ineffective at achieving what the workout was supposed to. This is where myTrainer comes in.
The winning team of a design competition to create an engaging campaign to reduce litter on Birmingham city centre’s busiest streets. The competition was ran by Hubbub; the charity that organises environmental campaigns such as the famous ballot bin, and was held amongst groups of final year design students at Aston University.
Not everything can be connected into the Internet of Things, or turned into a smart appliance. Listener is the conversion from analogue into digital. It hears and understands the real world so that you can be even more connected to it.
Listener bridges this gap by combining listening hardware with a concept app for the connected world, with the goal of bringing notifications to the things in life that aren’t digital.
M&S Boutique differentiates the brand from its competitors by offering a unique retail experience, leading to better discovery of products where each boutique stall showcases a product category and delivers a connected, personalised shopping experience
I’ve been learning some of the fundamentals to FEA (Finite Element Analysis) and CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) within SolidWorks. I’ve been trying it out on a few designs that really illustrate what these tools can be used for.
Check it out!
A group project with 4 Mechanical Engineers and myself to design a medical product for the NHS to enhance patient-professional communication.
Our answer: a smart walking stick that aids the rehabilitation process by providing pressure feedback, monitoring of activity and falls, and providing this data to a physiotherapist.
A short task for one of my degree modules was to consider the visual perception of products and designs. This was realised through a brief to design two cubes, one that portrayed qualities that made it seem light and natural, and another that was dependable and reliable.
How can the visual perception of a cube be altered?
Light and Natural
Texture and colour of the material used can alter the perception of a design.
Leading idea: use of natural patterns and colours to perceive the object as an organic body.
The use of leaves would form a cube that is semi-translucent, embodying a design that is light, open, and airy. The veins within the leaf is a reminder of its natural origin.
A pattern such as weave attributes natural characteristics to a cube, brining the impression that although processed by man, organic material resides in its origin.
Dependable and Reliable
Industrial, man-made aesthetics are what will be key to altering the perception of this kind of cube. Nature is often viewed as delicate, a dependable and reliable cube needs to be the opposite of that.
The first attempt at this cube was somewhat unsuccessful, since although the addition of hinges made the cube appear more durable and better built, there was no connection to the user as to what this cube tried to convey. The initial reaction was ‘why does this cube have hinges on it?’
why does this cube have hinges on it?
From this, I learnt that design values need to be conveyed in a way that is subtle, and not literal.
Leading idea: materials and colours that connote strength and exude qualities that the cube is -man-made.
Construction turned to become inspiration for the cube, specifically concrete’s prominence in the structure of buildings required to last for decades, suggesting that it as a material is reliable and durable.
In addition to this, concrete is often used in combination with steel as a supporting structure. A cube that carries the connotation of construction, the core of a building, should be successful in conveying dependable and reliable values.
I love this. Design can help us remember who we are and make us more conscious of the world around us.
Bringing nature into design allows us to escape the harshness of reality and the busyness of life.
Maybe I just really like green spaces.
Re-imagining the design of a key ring, inspired by Naoto Fukasawa’s ‘Design without Thought’ philosophy, where the user should naturally be able to interact with the design.
Great read! Interesting to see how designers create a positive user experience, even if it is all psychological.
Researching society and living conditions in India indicated that nearly 40% of households have >6 occupants and that new developments in high-density, low income areas were disliked due to a lack of community. This sustainable, low cost design addresses these issues
An outdoor stove design that is space efficient and practical for groups of people to cook with at the same time
An assistive device that enables for visually impaired and blind users to hear what physical, real- world objects are around them using NFC/iBeacon technology